Going for Words/Beacon



Beacon stood tall atop the hill that looked over the ocean. Its stone-like skin lacked complexion while marinating in the damp wind that smelled of fish and salt. It had been years since the light in its head illuminated the mysteries that crept through the waters. Without its lamp, it was useless. Beacon knew how useless it was, so it dissuaded any possible fanatics of its structure by scaring them away.

Recently, a bird tried to build a nest in a hole that formed in its wall. Once Beacon noticed the bird bring a twig to the hole and snoop around the place like it was scoping out its next apartment, Beacon summoned a wind to knock bricks away, revealing the lack of structural integrity that the wall would need to support a bird nest. The bird, like all other previous prospective denizens of the lighthouse, fled to never return.

Some few miles inland, an old man sat on the wooden stairs of his porch with a bag of stale bread sitting in his lap. He was looking out at the busy street that wasn’t there six years ago. If she could see it now, he thought as he grunted. Herb was thinking of when he built this house with his wife Beth over forty years ago. Things were different then. You could do whatever you wanted with your land. You could raise chickens and there definitely wasn’t a home owners association. They built the house here because it was far from everyone else at the time. If you wanted to be in the mess of society, you would have to opt into it by driving thirty minutes north or an hour and a half south. Not anymore though. The city moved to them. Luckily for Beth, it only got to be about fifteen minutes away before she got pneumonia and was too stubborn to go to the doctor for it. Herb pleaded with her to go, but she insisted it was just a cold.

Since Beth passed away, Herb often went outside in the winter months without a coat in the hopes of getting sick enough to see her again, but it never worked. Now that the city was on top of him, people were always checking in. The city had a project that took care of the elderly in the area. Any time he got sick he didn’t have a say in whether or not he lived or died. He always lived.